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Who is Nicolas Jover and how he’s changed Arsenal for the better

Arsenal have had a pretty busy summer transfer window. Six newcomers, all aged 23 or younger, have more or less settled in with the team over the course of the days. A new face in the warehouse has largely gone unnoticed … until now. Substitute Calum Chambers hit the ball for the first time from a corner in the League Cup game against Leeds United. He ran to the sidelines in what was felt like partying with those on the bench, but there was a deeper reason for it. Chambers was looking for Nicolas Jover, the Gunners’ standard coach, who was appointed in July. He had told the defense attorney that he would “score points from you” [Chambers] First touch, that’s why I ran to him. It was a nice moment. “

Who is Jover and why is he so popular with the players?


The Frenchman has had an excellent résumé having started his career as an analyst with Ligue 1 team Montpellier. He was part of the backroom team when the team won the league title in 2012 before spending three years with the Croatian national team. Jover made his first foray into English football in 2015 with Brentford, part of the Bees’ unique tactical, scouting and proximity model.

Nicolas Jover

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His performances with Brentford were an integral part of the team’s rise to the championship and Jover did not go unnoticed. Pep Guardiola recruited him in 2019 and it was here that he first came into contact with Mikel Arteta, then Manchester City’s assistant coach. Jover and his team helped the Cityzens win two league cups and the Premier League crown this season.

Arteta, now with Arsenal, lost his standard coach before Andreas Georgsen moved to his native Sweden at the beginning of the current season to become Sporting Director of Malmö. The Arsenal manager wasted little time getting Jover to join the squad and the results have been fruitful from the start, just as they have with City for the past two years.


Let’s get to how successful Jover has been in recent years. In the 2019-20 season, City scored 17 goals from set pieces and conceded just seven. They were the best or second best in the league. Jover uses a mix of decoys, cloaked movements, and overloading players in the box in anticipation of the second ball. He has stationed players in various positions next to defenders and even in open spaces so that the threat would persist for a longer period of time.

Nicolas Jover

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The effects are already being felt with the Gunners. Arsenal have scored six goals from set pieces that accounted for 46% of their goals. That’s as many times as they have scored throughout the 2020/21 season and the team is well on its way to setting a record. They only conceded two goals defensively, as most of their new players are well over six feet tall. It has helped on both sides of the pitch but what was even more encouraging is how well Jover has been with the players in such a short amount of time.

You are really invested in what the coach is trying to implement and you work hard to achieve the goals he has set. In fact, Jover takes a lot of time to analyze and study each situation and how best to use it. This is reflected in the fact that the xG from set pieces rose from 0.16 to 0.60 (5th in the league) and 38.8% of their corner kicks (4th in the league) were completed.

Jover has been described as someone who “asks questions” and “is never satisfied” and the players are willing to share what they have learned in training so that they can improve regularly. In addition, he wants to anticipate what the opponents could do if the set piece has fallen and the ball breaks into the penalty area, and discusses every possibility down to the smallest detail. Thus there is a clear and logical rationale behind every move made by players during game time.


Standard coaches are still a rare breed in football, although more and more clubs are on their way to hire one. The importance of goals from corners, free kicks, etc. is not to be underestimated and is similar to keeping things tight at the back. Jover brought his magic to the Emirates and Arsenal’s opponents need to be aware now.

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